USCIS Public Charge Rule in Effect Nationwide

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may resume implementation of its Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule (Public Charge Final Rule) nationwide after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a nationwide injunction on September 11, 2020.  As of the publication of this alert, USCIS has not yet updated its website with instructions on how impacted applicants should proceed to comply with the Public Charge Final Rule, nor how it will handle applications that were filed without public charge documentation while the injunction was in effect.

Background

As previously reported,  individuals seeing admission to the U.S. must show they are not likely to become a public charge. The Trump Administration’s Public Charge Final Rule dramatically expanded the definition of pubic charge for individuals seeking to extend or change their temporary status in the U.S., as well as for individuals applying for lawful permanent resident status.  The rule has been the subject of ongoing litigation. In January 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted prior nationwide injunctions, allowing the rule to take effect on February 24, 2020 while litigation on the merits proceeds.  However,  in July 2020, the rule was again enjoined nationwide due to the coronavirus public health pandemic.  That injunction was later modified by the court to include only New York, Connecticut and Vermont.  With the court’s holding on September 11, USCIS may again require all adjustment of status applicants  and individuals applying to change or extend their nonimmigrant status to provide extensive public charge documentation and information.

Gibney will continue to monitor this matter and provide updates as they become available.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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